I lie awake last night. I lay awake praying for a girl I barely know. A girl who is living with consequences bigger than she probably ever imagined. A girl that became a woman overnight. She's pregnant and she's much to young.
This subject gets a lot of people fired up..... Including me! I am the product of teen pregnancy and I have family who has found themselves in the same predicament as the young girl I speak of above. I have learned that God can use even the worst and hardest of circumstances to create beauty.
I have a heart for young girls. Young women..... Whatever. Mostly because I used to be one.... One with much confusion, one that didn't make the best of choices, one that was looking for love in the wrong places, one that dealt with confusion of permissive parenting combined with exposure to what she thought she knew was right for her in her heart, one that struggled to be a good girl and not ever disappoint. At this point I look back on those years and I can't believe I am the same woman. I hurt for that girl and I wish she had someone that could have taken her by the hand and loved her for who God had made her to be. I turned out okay though. This all being said I have always felt a calling to be their for teenage girls. I think we give them to much credit and not enough at the same time.
I struggled with sharing what I want to share but I feel so strongly about it I can't hold back. We teach girls very little about sex, about relationships. We expect them to handle very mature subjects without mature brains. We say things like sex is for mature relationships, sex is for married people, sex is for committed relationships where two people are in love. The whole time we are teaching this we forget that we are talking to hormone charged beings that think they have it all figured out. I would say 90percent of these girls believe they are in loving committed relationships. I knew so many girls from high school that thought they were going to marry their first love and 9 times out of 10 that's just not the case. But in their minds they already meet all of that criteria for the aforementioned act. In fact I am not even sure I fully understood what all this meant until I was a bit into my marriage. Maybe my brain just moves slower I don't know but I am pretty sure in all my years as a teenager and through many years of youth group I never had the concept explained to me in a way that explained why girls who follow the Lord don't participate in this act outside of marriage I just knew we weren't supposed to so we shouldn't. Obviously I knew what could happen I knew the potential consequences but beyond that the understanding wasn't fully there. I didn't understand the reson sex is saved for marriage is because it should be saved for a relationship that never ends. It's part of a commitment that lasts a lifetime. I wish I would have heard it presented to me for a real life prospective.....from I could relate to or a woman that I wanted to be like.
This all being said I'm not saying teenage girls aren't bright or capable or that they shouldn't be held responsible for their actions. I am saying that sometimes we shouldn't be so surprised that things like this happen. I don't like that these girls are shunned and shooed. I am appalled every time I hear of a young girl that attends our local Christian school that's quickly dismissed and sent away to finish her studies elsewhere. As if the Christian school is saved for non-sinners and those who are white as snow. What about the kids who party on the weekends, drink, do drugs and the like. ..... They are there and everyone knows who they are but they get to carry on almost Scott free. I guess what I am wondering is what is the sin we are recognizing the premarital sex (because in that case there are lots of kids doing that) or is the sin the pregnancy? In my opinion it isn't the latter! The second part that bothers me is what seems to as a lack of grace in these situations. In Christian education our children are taught about sin and repentance and forgiveness from the beginning it is the root of all that we believe. Yet in these circumstances it seems there are special ways in which to handle them. In my opinion we aren't practicing what we preach. . I am not a huge believer in thinking that we are doing these girls any good shipping them off to an environment where they know no one and are not able to continue thir studies in a way they are accustomed. Is the act of being pregnant at 16,17,18 or whatever not consequence enough?
I have heard all the arguments for taking this approach ..... Pregnancy in school is distracting.... But it's acceptable for them to be sent to the public school to "distract.". Teen pregnancy sends the wrong message.... What will others think, what will they say... Who cares lets love these girls where they are at not where we wish they were. Girls who become pregnant are a bad influence...... I can tell you that their peers probably knew they were pregnant before anyone else.... How much more damage can they do? And on the last point I know women who became pregnant as teens and their stories will show you a picture of motherhood and womanhood that I could only aspire to become.... Stories of sacrifice and grief. Stories of giving their children the best oppurtunities that they could aside from what their hearts told them to do.
I love teenage girls and I think our society as a whole could do such better job teaching,training, and leading. I think for those of us who have a story to tell or a past to be learned from we should find a constructive way to do so. I think we all experience different things, sometimes hard things for a reason and I believe that reason is to bring more glory to our Father in heaven. For all you women out there it is our job to love and to guide these future women,to show grace and acceptance. To meet them where they are at and love them to where God wants them to be.
All in all I know that God can make beauty even out of the worst circumstances. God can take our sins and make them as white as snow as soon as we ask him too. The consequences may last us a lifetime but not any eternity.